From Staff Correspondent
Shillong, Nov 8: The four-day 100-drums Wangala Festival and Cultural Extravaganza began at Asanggre, West Garo Hills, near Tura on Wednesday with indigenous games and sports of the Garo tribe.
It may be mentioned that the Wangala is the most significant post-harvest festival of the Garos and generally held in the second week of November every year. It is a thanksgiving ceremony to Misi Saljong also known as Pattigipa Rarongipa (The Great Giver) for having blessed the people with rich harvest of the season.
Wangala, which is the cultural identity of the Garos, is fast disappearing due to the impact of modern civilisation and western culture. Therefore, in order to protect, preserve and promote this cultural identity, a group of Garo intellectuals put their heads together and decided to organise the Wangala Festival on modern lines.
Accordingly, the first 100-drums Wangala Festival was successfully organised on 6th and 7th December 1976 at Asang, headquarter of Rongram Development Block. And since then, the 100-drums Wangala Festival is being organised in the second week of November every year and the festival has grown over the years under the patroge of the Government of Meghalaya and nurtured by festival organisers.
The indigenous games organised as part of the Wangala festival comprise of Wapong Sika, Jakpong Pea, An?ding O?ka, Rong?ma Chilsusaa, Rong?ma Gosusaa and tug-of-war, among others. Sports enthusiast from different localities and districts also participate in the progamme.